|Re: Consensus as primrary decision-making method w/voting back-up||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: R.N. Johnson (cohorandayahoo.com)|
|Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:07:39 -0800 (PST)|
We have a voting back up in place. It is rarely used. If the community cannot reach a decision after 2 rounds of voting, we can pass a proposal at 90%, and after 3 rounds we can pass a proposal at 70%. Since we have 11 households, in practice, this means that we can pass a proposal after 3 rounds (usually 3 meetings). After three rounds of discussion and attempting to reach consensus, the group has a pretty clear idea of what the objections are and how they relate to community concerns and values. Since move in 5 years ago, this proviso has been used in response to one community member who went through a phase of opposing virtually all decisions. After we used it a time or two, the constant blocking stopped, because it was clear the group would not be hostage to blocking for personal reasons. This person expressed the reasons for blocking in terms that made it clear this was a decision based on anger at past events, not based on the welfare of the community or even the proposal itself. Asking someone to explain their block in terms of whether is contradicted agreed upon community values or presented a clear risk of harm to the community really changes the debate, even without any formal process. I wish we had adopted a more formal criterion to evaluate blocks. I think having such criteria might actually encourage more timid community members to speak up more strongly when they have an important objection that is not shared by most. Randa Johnson New Brighton Cohousing Aptos, CA
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